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CMH Receives the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Members of the CMH Stroke Program and hospital leaders recently gathered to celebrate the Stroke Gold Plus Award. Pictured here are (back row, L-R) CMHS Neurologist Dr. Nicholas Tarlov, Emergency Department Director Elaina Hall, Chief Operating Officer Adam Thunell, (front row, L-R) Director of Quality Kathy Wright, Director of Cardiovascular Services Diane Cornell, Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Lara-Jenkins, and Chief Nursing Officer Diane Drexler.

When a person suffers a stroke, it’s critical they get to a hospital as fast as possible so that treatment may begin to possibly stop the stroke in progress and reduce disability. At Community Memorial Hospital (CMH), we are ready and waiting to help stroke patients get immediate treatment and have the best outcomes possible.

Our efforts have been rewarded again by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, which honored CMH with the association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes our commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“CMH is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative. The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes,” said Stephanie Lara-Jenkins, RN V and Community Memorial Hospital’s Stroke Coordinator.

CMH earned the award for yet another year by once again meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluating the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines, with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

CMH has also received the Association’s Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll awards! To qualify for the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or r-tPA. This medication treats ischemic stroke, which is caused when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked. To qualify for the Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award, CMH had to meet quality measures developed with more than 90 percent of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, with nearly 795,000 people suffering a new or recurrent stroke each year. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is critical because the earlier you realize you are having a stroke and get treatment, the better chance you have of survival and not suffering permanent brain damage or a long-term disability. Never ignore the warning signs of a stroke!

Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms:

  • Numbness and/or weakness on one side of the body
  • Numbness or weakness of an arm or leg
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking, or inability to speak
  • Changes in vision including blurred vision, double vision or vision loss
  • Dizziness and/or loss of coordination
  • Lightheadedness or feeling faint

Learn more about symptoms here:

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, act IMMEDIATELY and call 911 to get to the nearest emergency department right away for treatment. Acting fast is the key to a better outcome and better health for the future.